Beaufort News

Yemassee works to save Bindon project

Yemassee Town Council canceled a development agreement for the 1,317-acre Bindon Plantation last week -- a move officials say actually preserves the document as the property's owners face foreclosure.

The development agreement allows as many as 1,300 homes and 450,000 square feet of commercial space on the property along the Pocotaligo River.

Developer Bindon Plantation took out a mortgage from Buckfield Plantations and Hollingsworth Funds, according to the town. The lenders filed for foreclosure last year, but a hearing has not been held.

If the lenders foreclose, it would nullify the development agreement, attorney Rick Marscher, who is representing the town, said last month. The property would then revert to its original status as an agricultural district, which allows uses such as farming, hunting and timber harvesting.

Yemassee is urging the lenders to take back the deed to the property rather than foreclose, which would keep the development agreement intact, Marscher said.

Town Council's resolution approved Tuesday outlines the lenders' development rights if they accept the deed in lieu of foreclosure. If the lenders were to then sell the entire property, the development agreement would apply to the new owner, too.

"It ultimately protects the (development) agreement," said Mayor J.L. Goodwin.

If the land is subdivided, each piece sold would revert to an agricultural zoning district. The new owners would have to come before Town Council for any zoning changes, Goodwin said.

The lenders must still sign off on the agreement before it can take effect.

Goodwin did not know Thursday if the lenders had signed the document.

Neither Marscher nor a representative of Hollingsworth Funds, which owns Buckfield Plantations, could be reached for comment Thursday.